I am afraid that the instant gratification of social media posts is reducing too many preachers of our day to a servile relationship with an invisible audience of likes and “hearts.” It is increasingly obvious that many of the prominent pulpits are assiduously avoiding Biblical topics that might offend. There can be no other explanation than we are being tempted to “love the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God” (John 12:43).
I was just reading today, from the life of Ezekiel, the nature of his call to ministry, and I’m struck by how unlikely those of us who are pastors/spiritual leaders today could have survived what God told the prophet about his ministry.
“Then He said to me, ‘Son of man… eat this scroll [words from God] and go speak to My people” (Ezekiel 3:1).
That is the fundamental and first task of every pastor and spiritual leader, regardless of whether the word from the Lord is popular or politically incorrect.
The apostle Peter said the same thing to New Testament preachers, when he instructed “whoever speaks, as one who speaks the oracles of God” (1 Peter 4:11).
So far so good!
What a great start for the man or woman of God commissioned to speak the words of God to people!
But the next thing God said to Ezekiel would be like a bucket of cold water over anyone with a heart for ministry.
“…But the house of Israel will not be willing to listen to you, since they are not willing to listen to Me” (Ezekiel 3:7).
Who would sign up for that assignment?
That translates into not many Twitter followers.
Few “likes” on Facebook.
Fewer Instagram “hearts.”
But we are not called to build a following. We are called to speak the very words of God that we have first eaten and digested so that when they are repeated to others there is an inherent authority that attends the oracles of God.